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Does Religiosity Promote or Discourage Property Rights and the Rule of Law?

40 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2011 Last revised: 4 Aug 2011

Christian Bjørnskov

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business; Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN); Center for Political Studies

Niclas Berggren

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

Social and cultural determinants of economic institutions and outcomes have come to the forefront of economic research. We introduce religiosity, measured as the share for which religion is important in daily life, to explain institutional quality in the form of property rights and the rule of law.

Previous studies have only measured the impact of membership shares of different religions, with mixed results. We find, in a cross-country regression analysis comprising up to 112 countries, that religiosity is negatively related to our institutional outcome variables. This only holds in democracies (not autocracies) and for de facto (not de jure) measures, which suggests that religiosity affects the way institutions work through the political process.

Keywords: Religion, religiosity, property rights, rule of law, legal quality, institutions

JEL Classification: K11, K42, Z12

Suggested Citation

Bjørnskov, Christian and Berggren, Niclas, Does Religiosity Promote or Discourage Property Rights and the Rule of Law? (2011). APSA 2011 Annual Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1901488

Christian Bjørnskov (Contact Author)

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business ( email )

Fuglesangs Allé 4
Aarhus V, DK-8210
Denmark

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

Center for Political Studies

Landgreven 3
Copenhagen K, DK-1301
Denmark

Niclas Berggren

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www.ifn.se/nb

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